My View

By Don Sorchych | June 24, 2009


Don Sorchych
The unlucky draw

The national election has come to Cave Creek. Not only do we have a know-nothing president, but, by luck of draw, we have a child councilman in Cave Creek.

Thomas McGuire shouldn’t have lost, but many well-meaning friends advised him to stay out of the limelight. Many, including me, dislike McGuire’s politics; he is way liberal and tends to communicate widely on every subject. Some rational people just can’t stand him.
But on the other side he voted right 99 percent of the time. He loves Cave Creek, is a volunteer and docent in our beloved Spur Cross Conservation Area. Unlike a one-year spoiled brat, he has studied and lived Cave Creek and its history.

So, for lack of one vote, McGuire was forced into a runoff and the ignominy of a card draw. He deserved more and based on Adam Trenk’s votes and utterly foolish statements at the first council meeting those who voted for Trenk should be ashamed.

Did Trenk buy his seat in this election? You bet he did.

Final financial statements for candidates were due on Thursday, June 18. Trenk said he would wait until the final day, after Sonoran News published. Didn’t hurt a bit. Linda Bentley has an article on his election and financial statement in this issue.

Trenk’s financial statement is instructive. In all, he raised $19,501. He spent all but $93.08. Remember when he had a remaining $9,000 or so and said he would contribute the money to charity?

He lied.

Trenk raised $2,120 in this reporting period. Four contributions were from New Jersey, two from New York, one from Florida and one from Nevada, averaging $265 each.
During the previous reporting period Trenk also paid himself back the $2,000 he had loaned to his campaign.

Just prior to the runoff election he disbursed $16.20 for flyers, $1.25 to PayPal as a service fee and $4,425 to Primary Consultants for mailing, Robo-calls and miscellaneous campaign work.

Both contributions and expenditures are records for Cave Creek and would be for much larger towns or cities.

Contributions were 95 percent from out-of-town although citizens usually are wary of out-of-town supporters.

Trenk spent over $4,100 before the primary and missed being elected by three votes, increased expenditures to nearly $20,000, went to a runoff and finally drew a face card to defeat Council- man Thomas McGuire.

Trenk’s 660 votes amount to $29.40 per vote, dominantly out-of town money.

Trenk voted against the general plan amendment for Walmart in his first council meeting after being sworn in. That vote proved he is a liar.

Trenk said, “This is a tough call. The impact to the south will be detrimental, so I’ll vote no in protest.” Trenk knew the remaining five councilmen and the mayor were openly for the general plan amendment, yet six votes were required to pass the amendment. Had another councilman been flying under false pretenses, the issue would have died.

We had an early warning about that vote. Trenk told confidants he hoped the draw would be held after the first vote by council. He was concerned his supporters would be angry if he voted for Walmart.

Who are his supporters? Well, the Dark Side contributed to his campaign and he attended their home forums. But the Dark Side alone was not sufficient to elect him.

He answered questions proposed by the Preserve Cave Creek PAC affirmatively in order to attend their home forums.

Discussions with attendees of the forums were universal in hearing his expressed support of Walmart.

So clearly he got votes from home forum attendees, who believed what he said.

Back to the council meeting. Trenk then voted for the rezoning needed for Walmart. If it was a moral issue he would have voted no. It was a political vote to salve the wounds of the home forum attendees who were doubtless vexed by his first vote.

Telling people what they want to hear is not a new political strategy and it works until voters understand they have been hoodwinked. Several voters have apologized to me for being taken in.

Does Trenk care?

As I have said repeatedly, Trenk’s goal is not this council, it is Washington D.C. Maybe you don’t mind being a stepping stone, I do.

Elections in 2010 are replete with openings for hungry candidates. In Arizona, there will be two state house seats and Senator Jim Waring’s state senate seat, on the ballot.

For really aggressive candidates, John McCain’s senior senate seat is up for grabs and so is the governor’s mansion. The governor is vulnerable due to her demand for an increased state tax.

Trenk has said he is getting a law degree he will never practice. Apparently he thinks being a lawyer is a prerequisite to grow in politics and it does help.

Trenk has recently shown how much of a greenhorn he is.

Remember Grace Meeth’s and Kim Brennan’s alleged violation of open meetings laws? The town publicly warned them, although they could have sent the issue to the attorney general’s office.

Trenk, being so close to the Dark Side’s Terry Zerkle had to know Zerkle’s complaint about Mayor Vincent Francia was found to be groundless.

Does Trenk think the following e-mail he sent to council members, the Town Clerk and the mayor is also groundless?

Here it is:

Hello Mayor and Fellow Council Members,

Two things:
I received an e-mail from former audit committee member Scott Dahne regarding an allegation the town manager made about them violating open meeting (sic) laws. Evidently they are considering legal action if they don’t get an apology and admission the allegations were false.

1. Do you know anything about this?
2. If it is true, is it really the role of the town manager to disseminate this information in the way that Dahne and Biemeck claim he did (forwarding it to 27 people including the local newspaper and professional associates of the claimants)?
3. Is any action going to be taken on this matter?
Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek sent this e-mail to council members and the mayor:
Please do not reply to this e-mail. I have talked to Councilman Trenk about open meetings law issues that include e-mail correspondence. He and I will go over some protocol issues next week since he was not able to participate in newly elected officials training.

Is Dyrek’s sympathy unfounded? He is after all a law student and violations are violations and should go to the AG’s office.

A Dark Side consortium could not have written Trenk’s e-mail better.

Witnesses have come forward on the issue brought up by Trenk and we will deal with it next week.